Saturday, August 21, 2010


Checked off our list of 3 million things to do today and made it home with enough time to drop off the last of the back-to-school shopping and head out to the theatre for movie night.

Kiddos chose Nanny McPhee Returns, of course. I, apparently, have absolutely no say so anymore in that regard.

And it, alright.

It wasn't nearly as good as the first one. The best thing about it were the bratty city kids, who just did an awesome job being total snots.

But 5 minutes into the movie, after NMP bangs her cane, resulting in a disturbing scene of pre-teen self-flagellation, she loses her first unsightly mole, the physical manifestation of no-good spoiled-rotten childish behavior. And Saia turned to me and said, "Ok, that was just way too fast."

And I agree.

The whole movie felt that way. Like it was initially just propelling us obligatorily through the first couple of lessons, but without a whole lot of substance.

They didn't LEARN not to fight with one another. They were magicked into hitting themselves until they surrendered.

They didn't LEARN to share. They were tricked into sleeping with animals (reserving comment on that one), and still forced to abdicate one half of their beds, but without a real lesson on choosing to share with one another.

And that was how it went. They were coerced and deceived. Deluded and misled. And no, it wasn't intentional. And yes, it was all in good fun. And yes, it was all under the guise of behavior modification, but that lesson, that you have to trick someone into doing what's right, is not really a lesson I want my children to learn.

The things the kids did learn weren't from NMP at all. They were from just being around each and spending time with one another and learning about each other's lives, which all would've happened with or without her meddling.

Alright, the teamwork lesson was cute, but only because how can you not be all sorts of cuteness with synchronized swimming piglets? I mean, come on.

But even the final leap of faith lesson, which was really moving in some parts, and totally allowed the bratty cousin to show off his acting chops as he evolved so gracefully into a truly awesome kid, was still not a great lesson for children. Particularly because it involved the possible death of a parent, and we are currently in a time of war. How many children, I wondered immediately, with a mother or father or aunt or uncle or brother or sister or cousin who won't be coming home from the Middle East, went home and just thought to themselves that all they really had to do was believe hard enough and "feel it in their bones," and their loved one would come walking over a hill, tall green grass swaying in the breeze, completely alive and well?

It just did not sit well with me. At all.

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